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The Inaugural Manning's Pit

Poetry Competition

First Prize (Adults)

Mark Totterdell
Mark Totterdell

Mark Totterdell is a free lance copywriter who lives in Exeter. He was born and brought up in rural Somerset. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He has won a number of competitions, including the Fire River Poets Competition, the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Competition, the Poems Please Me Competition and the Poetry Pulse Competition,

He has also been place placed, commended or short listed in many other competitions, such as the Bridport Prize. In 2018 he was himself asked to judge the Dark Skies Poetry Competition run by the Exmoor National Park Authority.

He has had two collections published; "This Patter of Traces" (Overstep Books 2014) and "Mapping" (Indigo Dreams Publishing (2018).

His entry for this competition is about the field behind his childhood home, which has recently been built on.

Mark's Poem


Our field where the grasses grew high, won't you look,
has grown a hard harvest of tarmac and brick,
a new human haven that went up too quick
on the sweet tangled wildness where, going way back,

we found the small hare in the warmth of its form,
a shivering thing we'd have hated to harm
that, with young green concern, we proceeded to damn
when we scooped it from safety and carried it home.
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